The Riff

(Dancik, Rubin)

…is the true story of Just Water's journey across the light years of culture that separated upstate New York from "The City".

From 1972 to 1974, Just Water hid away in Binghamton, NY in its own version of The Band's Big Pink. "We played every town in the state of New York, except the one that mattered. But all of us, except Tom, were from The City, and that gave us the edge to know that we'd only have one chance in The City, and in order not to blow it, we'd better get our act together first. So, we played in places like Oswego and Oneonta, where there was always a 400-pound biker who was in a bad mood unless you played his requests. In the end, nothing really prepares a band for NYC, especially in 1975 when NYC was once again the center of the music world."

The Riff is purposely wordy, to get across the sensory overload of a band of kids in Manhattan. "Every band wants a riff to call their own. The Beatles had Day Tripper and the Stones had Satisfaction. And if we were lucky, one day we'd be playing our riff on a brand new amp in Manny's Music Store on 48th Street, with another band from "upstate" lookin' on."

The riff of "The Riff" is played with a muddy tone by Mitch and a nice clean tone by Danny, one in each ear of your headphones. Danny is playing Mitch's old Gibson Explorer, which had to be sold one day when food seemed more important.

Mitch remembers that "I heard Danny play that riff one day, and I built the song around it. It sounded like it just might be the one - 'The Riff'."